Field Classes

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Join Heather Luna for a fun, informative and hands-on experience in the field

to explore edible & medicinal plants of the Sierra Foothills

​Field Classes are held outdoors at various locations throughout the Nevada County area. Class locations range from the cozy nest of our school Medicine Garden to various treasured trails and forests in the wild landscape of the Sierra foothills. 

Field Classes Include:

  • Herb Walks

  • Plant Identification

  • Herbal Actions and Medicinal Uses

  • Fresh Plant Medicine Making in the field

  • Harvesting and processing techniques

  • Foraging Ethics

  • Plant Communication


 

These Field Classes are rich botanical adventures which strengthen our relationships to the plants and the use of herbs in our daily lives. Due to the variation of ecosystems and activities held at each field class throughout the season every stand-alone class is a unique experience that cannot reflect the entirety of outdoor adventures we will embark throughout the year. For the full experience of traveling through the seasons join us once a month. These are inspirational botanical play days for every level of herbalist, from beginner to professional. 

Field Classes Overview​​

  • ​Learn plant identification and Materia medica

  • Hands-on medicine making in the field (all materials are provided)

  • Take home medicines made that day​

  • Open to everyone, no formal training required

  • Most trails we hike are considered easy 

  • We will meet rain, snow or shine

  • ​Current ACORN students receive a discounted price

  • Maximum of 15 participants to keep group size small

Registration & Pricing

All Field Classes are held on Saturdays from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm PST

You can register for one class at a time or multiple 

Each day is a full adventure!

General public $125 ~ Now $75

Student price $85 ~ Now $60

We are offering Special Pricing as a means of pandemic relief

Spending more time in nature allows better recovery from stress and improves our life choices under pressure. In solidarity of challenging times we would like to share our best rates ever in hopes that you will join us in harnessing the Healing Power of Nature for the creation of a better world. 

 

To Register - Please select the Field Class you wish to attend below and follow the instructions to register. 

 

Students - If you are a currently enrolled student with ACORN you receive a discounted price for Field Classes. Please email the school to register.  

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Forest Foraging & Fairytales

@ the Rock Creek Nature Trail

May 28th

Venture deep into the forest to a little known secret spot in the foothills, and experience a unique ecosystem with wild orchids and ancient trees. 

  • Morning herb walk along this special trail will introduce over 25 medicinal plants

  • Break for lunch by the creek, then dive into focused discussion on the uses and therapeutics of Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa) with on-site medicine making

  • Take home a tincture that can be used as a valuable remedy for pain

Medicine Garden

Medicine Garden Summer Harvest

July 23rd

Come play in the school’s half-acre Medicine Garden during peak harvest season! This is the class to help you feel confident in producing quality herbal medicines from field to bottle...Bring your gathering baskets, and take them home full!! 

 

  • We will spend the morning with an Herb Walk to discuss the uses of about a dozen medicinal plants (yes, that takes all morning, and you will learn a lot about each plant)

  • In the afternoon we will harvest and process several herbs to create fresh plant medicines to take home

  • We will discuss when to consider fresh plant tinctures and how to prepare them

  • Learn to process dried leaves and roots for your home apothecary

  • We will also make fresh mint honeys. Yum!

Elderberry

Elderberry Extravaganza

August 27th

Spend the day with a beloved friend and wise elder. This class will deepen any level of relationship to the Elder tree, and keep you on your toes with new information about an old friend. 

  • In the morning we will focus on learning directly from the plant with the practice of Plant Spirit Communication, a profound experience to validate in a group setting

  • We will then move on to an in depth review of Elder’s uses, beyond just cold and flu, and traditional preparations of both flower and berry

  • Break for lunch under the peach tree

  • In the afternoon we will harvest berries. You can take some home to dry, and some will become a delicious syrup made on-site at the picnic table under the walnut tree.

How to prepare for class

Please come prepared to work with the plants in their environments. While we live in temperature controlled rooms plants do not. Learning about plants means that we must adjust ourselves to the climates and habitats of Nature. Spending time in nature is a vital piece of being an herbalist. Spending time in Nature should not be limited to fair weather and sunny days. This means being prepared to meet your personal comfort needs in an outdoor learning environment so that you can enjoy your time with the plants.

No class is cancelled due to rain. Classes are only cancelled under extreme or hazardous conditions. 

Please come to ALL outdoor field classes with the following items:

  • Full water bottle

  • A sack lunch and trail snacks for the day

  • Good walking shoes (weather appropriate such as waterproof hiking boots and wool socks)

  • Notebook and pen/pencils (cameras are also welcome)

  • A personal blanket or towel to sit on outside

  • Plastic grocery bags (we pick up trash along the way)

  • A backpack to store gear and extra layers of clothing 

  • Weather appropriate layers of clothing:

    • Long pants (with wooly unders/leggings if cold), short sleeves shirt or tank top with long sleeve shirt on top. Plus a hoodie or wool sweater. **Remember you can always shed layers, but you can’t magically make new layers appear while out in the field.

    • Sunhat and light weight loose long sleeves and pants to prevent bug bites, bramble scratches and sunburn on sunny days

    • Rain slicker with waterproof hood and water proof gear with warm wool under layers on rainy days

Tools and equipment

These are they types of tools we use for medicine making in the field.

Please bring your own tools and equipment, and label each with your name. 

  • Pocket knife

  • Garden snips/clippers/hand pruners

  • Small shovel/trowel/ hori hori/ or other digging tool

  • Folding garden saw

  • Baskets or collecting bags (canvas or paper)